Extension in Western Massachusetts
About Western Massachusetts
The western region of Massachusetts is composed of Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. The largest city in the region is Springfield, located in Hampden County, along the Interstate 91 corridor on the Connecticut River.
Richard W. Harper, UMass environmental conservation, is interviewed in two related television news stories: how warming weather may cause trees to bloom earlier than usual; and with a visit to a UMass Amherst class by 22 News meteorologist Kelly Reardon.
When the decade-old weather station at the UMass Crop and Animal Research and Education Farm in South Deerfield was hit by lightning this past summer, the impact of that loss was felt by the region’s growers. This November, UMass fruit extension educators Jon Clements and Liz Garofalo replaced the decade-old defunct weather station with a new one.
“And how are the children?”
-- traditional greeting of the Masai tribe of east Africa
An article about young farmers in Franklin County quotes Amanda Brown, director of the UMass Student Farming Enterprise Program and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture’s Agricultural Learning Center. She says the learning curve for first-time farmers is steep and she advises new farmers to spend a couple years learning by working for a good established farmer. (Recorder 9/20/19)
Springfield Public Schools, working with its dining service management company, Sodexo, will use their USDA grant funds to build five to seven new teaching gardens at schools. They’ll also expand parental involvement in partnership with the Springfield Food Policy Council and UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program. (Gazette 9/23/19)
Article on environmentally-friendly dairy farming practices quotes Extension Professor Masoud Hashemi, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, on the historical move from use of nitrogen-fixing legumes to the application of artificial fertilizers and the resulting danger of contamination of water bodies and underground sources of water. (Daily Hampshire Gazette, 9/21/19)